Military customs and traditions. Illustrated by Lachlan M. Field.

Boatner, Mark M., III, 1921-2006 [Browse]
New York, D. McKay Co. [1956]
176 pages illustrations 21 cm


Bibliographic references
Includes bibliography.
  • 1. How armies evolved
  • British heritage
  • How the first military company was a commercial company
  • The first standing armies
  • The German Landsknechte and Reiter
  • Origin of modern military methods
  • Evolution of army organization: how the regiment came into being: why a lieutenant general ranks a major general; origin of other titles
  • Development of the "combat arms": "Queen of battles"; cavalry; engineers and artillery
  • Development of the "services": adjutant general chaplains; medics; military police; Quartermasters and logisticians
  • Evolution of weapons: gunpowder; handguns; flintknapping, a link with antiquity.
  • 2. Pomp and pageantry
  • Uniforms
  • The Fourragere and Aiguilette
  • Origin of sashes
  • Batons and "swagger sticks"
  • Chevrons
  • Epaulettes and shoulder straps
  • Origin of khaki
  • Buttons
  • Haversacks and packs
  • Hair
  • Beards and mustaches
  • "Colors"
  • Folding the flag into a "cocked hat"
  • Why the British colors are "trooped"
  • Battle honors
  • Military music
  • Bugle calls
  • Tattoo
  • Taps
  • The "sound off" at parades
  • Drums and "drumhead justice"
  • Cadence marching
  • Position of honor
  • Why medals are worn on the left
  • Origin of the hand salute
  • Other forms of salute
  • Sword salute
  • Gun salutes
  • Dipping the flag in salute
  • Inspecting the guard of honor
  • Precedence of troops at parades and reviews.
  • 4. Military Americana
  • Colonial beginnings
  • The Army's oldest outfits
  • earliest American military operations
  • Birth of the American army
  • When our army numbered only eighty men
  • The Army's senior officer a Captain
  • The eight oldest U.S. infantry regiments
  • Oldest regular Army units
  • The "old guard"
  • West Point, 1802: The West Point class ring; Ex-cadet Edgar Allan Poe; James McNeill Whisler, ex-1855
  • Regimental coats of arms and insignia
  • The arms and services: birth dates, colors and insignia; Segregated and other special outfits; "go for broke"; Why no J Company?
  • Evolution of rank insignia: why silver "ranks" gold
  • origin of American military decorations: campaign medals; first medal of honor winners; The Irish and the medal of honor
  • The last battle with the Indians
  • Army service numbers
  • Dog tags
  • Origin of shoulder insignia (patches)
  • Military mascots: Old Abe and Young Abe; William of the seventeenth infantry; Comanche
  • Regimental traditions: the Old Guard; The Rock of Chickamauga; Garry Owen; Bucktails; The Cottonbalers; "Dogface soldier"; Most-decorated units; The Washington Artillery; Message to Garcia; "America's Foreign Legion"; The Ballad of Roger Young; Bloody but unbowed
  • Origin of the term "National Guard."
  • 5. Solider slang and jargon
  • Solider lingo
  • Current slang and jargon
  • Old Army lingo.
  • 7. "Customs of the service"
  • Part I: "Official" customs of the service: the desire of the commander; Familiarity with subordinates; RHIP (Rank hath its privileges); Official knock; Officers not called to attention; Fatigue; No excuses; No thanks; Use of the third person; Use of "Sir"; By direction of the president; A buck for the first salute; Mixing items of civilian apparel with uniforms; "Officer and gentleman"; "The colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady ... "; Personal services of enlisted men; Some "customs" the Army can do without; Other taboos; Service semantics; Good-conduct medal worn by officers; Officers' messes
  • Some military misconceptions: medal of honor holders rating a salute; "Fine him a buck and give him a carton of cigarettes"; Sentinel never surrendering his weapon; Manner of wearing the World War II Occupation Ribbon
  • Air Force customs
  • Naval customs.
  • Part II: "Social" customs of the service: use of titles; calls ("courtesy visits"); Presents; Flower funds; Tipping or removing the hat is taboo; Addressing junior officers socially as "mister"; Swords at the military wedding; Bridal procession; New arrivals should be made welcome; Some tips for the ladies.
  • Appendix A: Fourrageres and Aiguilettes / C.C. Soden
  • Appendix B: Critical dates in military evolution
  • Appendix C: U.S. Army organization
  • An explanation of some confusing terms
  • What is a component?
  • "Branches"
  • "Arms" and "services"
  • IG's and WAC's
  • Sources.
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